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The Art and Science of Raja Yoga: A Guide To Self-Realization Paperback – May 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With yoga much in vogue these days, the prolific Walters, a longtime teacher and disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda and founder of Ananda Village, offers an ambitious package of instruction in the discipline. Intended as a 14-week home-study course, the book's 14 chapters cover teachings, postures and routines, meditation and breathing techniques, health and healing topics and diet. It's tough to do a good yoga book, because a number of variables have to converge: substantive integrity, clarity in how-to explanations and quality visuals. By those measures, this book succeeds. Walters's long teaching record shows in his ability to discuss key yogic concepts and practices in simple terms. Though the author is not a particularly gifted writer, the how-to part instruction in postures is adequately clear. Workmanlike b&w photos illustrate form, and each explanation includes a helpful statement of the benefits of each pose. This comprehensive guide has an extra medium to distinguish it on the crowded yoga bookshelf: an accompanying audio CD that contains a vague lecture as well as more helpful sections of guided meditation and posture instruction. The book has its fuzzy edges: relating the Bible to yoga teachings is fancifully unnecessary, and recipes are not its long suit. All things considered, however, it's superior to books that reduce yoga to a series of physical exercises taught by this year's guru.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) is an internationally known author, lecturer, and composer. Widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on meditation and yoga, he has taught these principles and techniques to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.

An advocate of simple living and high thinking, his more than 80 books emphasize the need to live wisely by one’s own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas.

In 1968, Walters founded Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, dedicated to spreading the spirit of friendship, service, and community throughout the world. Ananda is recognized as one of the most successful intentional community in the world. Today, over 1,000 people reside in five Ananda communities throughout the U.S. (Seattle, Palo Alto, Portland, Sacramento and Ananda Village) and in Europe. The European retreat and community located in Assisi, Italy, also serves Ananda meditation groups in Europe, Croatia, and Russia. Both the Nevada City and Assisi communities have world-renowned guest retreat facilities where thousands of visitors annually visit for renewal or instruction in many aspects of meditation, yoga, and the spiritual life. Walters has also established "Living Wisdom" schools for grades K-12 in Nevada City, Sacramento, Portland, and Palo Alto.

Mr. Walters books and music have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and been translated into 28 languages. He is the author of more than 80 books on a variety of topics including leadership, education, creativity, and moral values. His Best-selling titles include Awaken to Superconsciousness, Meditation for Starters, God Is for Everyone,The Art of Supportive Leadership, The Path – One Man’s Quest on the Only Path There Is, Money Magnetism, The Essence of Self-Realization, Affirmations for Self-Healing, Education for Life, and his best-selling Secrets gift books.

A composer since 1964, Walters has written over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. Many of his new albums are instrumental works with brief affirmations or visualizations. Chuck Dilberto, of Awareness Magazine says, "Walters’ words and music are full of his life and light. His sole intention is to heal, something we could all use during these chaotic times". His recent albums include Secrets of Love, Music to Awaken Superconsciousness, Windows on the World and Surrender: Mystical Music for Yoga. As a composer, Walters is best known for the top-selling albums Mystic Harp and Mystic Harp 2, featuring the legendary harpist Derek Bell, of the 5-time Grammy Award-winning group The Chieftains. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 471 pages
  • Publisher: Crystal Clarity Publishers; Revised edition (May 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565892631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565892637
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Nelson on March 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very helpful, and enlightening manual on the art of yoga - more specifically, "Raja Yoga" which is a balanced and comprehensive approach to yoga practice. Knowing very little about yoga, but wanting to blend meditation with physical exercise on my own at home, I found an old record called "Yoga for Self Awareness" by Sri Kriyananda. It's a four sided set that includes a full hour and a half of yoga postures, meditation, and chants. It was pretty easy to follow along at first, but I realized that I desired to learn more and wanted to be sure I was doing the postures correctly. I was pleasantly surprised to find "Raja Yoga" by Kriyananda (aka Donald Walters) on Amazon, and ordered it right away.

The manual is divided into 14 chapters, each chapter into 7 subsets: Philosophy, Postures, Breathing, Routine, Healing, Diet, and Meditation - all treated with equal gravity, although meditation does figure prominantly throughout Raja Yoga. Yoga is rooted in religion, and so if meditation and religious sentiment don't appeal to you, you might just want to go find a local "hatha" yoga class at the YMCA, or gym. However, I will say that if you open yourself up to the basic philosophy presented here, and surrender skepticism towards Kriyananda's medical advice (which seems rather incredulous at times) you'll find yourself believing instead of doubting. The world is full of mystery (travel and see for yourself!), and to perpetually wrap oneself up in self-protective doubt is unproductive, and ultimately, harmful to spiritual (and physical) growth. Skepticism, okay; but yoga teaches one to trust, and open oneself up to incredible possibilities, and I think this lesson in itself makes Raja Yoga invaluable.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Siva Balan on June 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is divided into 14 steps and each step is further divided into 7 subjects. The subjects are philosophy, yoga postures, breathing, routine, healing, diet and meditation. This enables the reader to understand the philosophy and purpose of the yoga postures more deeply. The only complaint I have about this book is that it was unable to go into a deeper detail about the yoga postures! But I guess that the author was forced to keep his book "short" because of space constraints.

The author's guru, Paramhansa Yogananda (who is also my divine guru) gave little emphasis on hatha yoga and more emphasis on kriya yoga. This is understandable because Yogananda simply did not have the time to dive deeper into the practices of hatha yoga. When J. Donald Walters told his Guru that there is nothing much more to write about, our Guru told him "There is MUCH MORE to be written!" Thus kriyananda has been following his Guru's advice and has written over seventy books which compliments Yogananda's teachings.

It is a grave mistake to think that the books published by SRF is the ONLY true teachings of Yogananda. This will undoubtedly lead to dogmatism. Books by Kriyananda, Norman Paulsen, Roy Eugene Davis and other disciples of Yogananda complements the books published by SRF. Yogananda never intended SRF to be an exclusive sect and Kriyananda(who is a very sincere disciple) has taken the teachings of Yogananda to a deeper level.

This book is highly recommended to those who are interested in living a more spiritual life and are not recommended to people who are filled with hatred over the author. SRF students who are open-minded, would find this book useful for their own spiritual development.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By M. Eby on February 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was amazed at the beauty and simplicity of this text. It told me much of what I needed to know to start my journey on my Spiritual path. I felt that Swami Kriyananda's insights were clear and blended Christianity and Raja Yoga in a way that made sense to my Christian upbringing! Being rather skeptical by natural, I found the step-by-step process that Swami offers perfect for someone with a science/medical background (nursing) to gain the knowledge needed to open my heart and start on my true Path. There is even a page offering Student Support with a phone number and email address to contact someone with the questions that inevitably arise.
Each unit is broken down into `do-able' pieces. One can read through the entire book then go back at anytime or take one chapter at a time and absorb as much as necessary. I especially like the sections on Breathing (Pranayama)- offering many different techniques that can be incorporated into daily life at any time! There is also Philosophy, Meditation, Diet, Postures and Routines for every section or unit.
I am not a Hatha Yoga expert but am very much the amateur! I do Hatha Yoga to open my heart, to stretch my sometimes rather stiff body, and also to prepare myself for meditation. I like the Affirmations offered by Swami for each posture (asana). They help me to go deeper into the postures, and to direct my energy into a calm and positive direction.
I appreciate being able to read a book and develop my own thoughts on that subject - not having someone's beliefs shoved down my throat. I feel that the approach taken in this book offers me just that, a way to read and decide what works and what does not work for me. I really believe that this course in the Art & Science of Raja Yoga is great for everyone, beginners and those already committed to their Spiritual Path alike!
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